Sporting Digest: Cricket

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The Independent Online
Iain Sutcliffe, the talented 22-year-old opening batsman who was awarded his county cap at Leicestershire's annual dinner this week, has signed a new four-year contract at Grace Road. Wicketkeeper Paul Nixon has been named Leicestershire's player of the year.

David Hemp, the Warwickshire batsman, is to play for the South African provincial side Free State as their overseas player for the first half of the season.

Jimmy Gray, the 71-year-old former opening batsman, has ended an association with Hampshire of almost 50 years by stepping down as chairman of the club's cricket committee. He will be replaced by the Bournemouth-based accountant David Robinson, a former Minor Counties cricketer with Dorset.

Derbyshire have appointed John Smedley, 26, as secretary and general manager. Smedley, who has been with the county for four years, replaces Stuart Edwards.